Yankees Hal Steinbrenner: Can We Forgive And Forget His Misspeak


Yankees principal owner, Hal Steinbrenner, gave a wide-ranging interview to the Associated Press while he is attending the MLB Owner’s Meetings. We’ll have a story later today reporting on all that he said. Apparently, though, he misspoke when responding to a complicated question about domestic violence. It was an “Oops” moment in time. Give the guy a break.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is in hot water. National newspapers like the Washington Post have picked up on the story. What’s the story?

Steinbrenner used the word “forget” rather than “forgive” when explaining why the Yankees didn’t hesitate in signing Aroldis Chapman to a five-year $86 million deal this winter. Chapman was involved in a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend in October 2015. He was never charged by the authorities, but he did receive a suspension from MLB, which he served at the beginning of last season.

According to USA Today, here is what Steinbrenner said:

"“Sooner or later, we forget, right? That’s the way we’re supposed to be in life. He did everything right, and said everything right, when he was with us.’’"

It’s obvious that Steinbrenner did not use “politically correct” language. But, he also didn’t do something else, which is to excuse Chapman for whatever he did that night. So, let’s dismiss the elephant in the room forthwith. No decent man or woman alive today tolerates or supports domestic violence in any way or manner. I don’t, you don’t, and Steinbrenner doesn’t either.

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And after all, Chapman did fire a gun a gun eight times that night while he was alone in his garage. And if we had to speculate, his girlfriend might have had “second thoughts” when speaking to police about the events that night. But, the case is now adjudicated. It’s over and done. And as callous as it may sound, it’s time to move on.

And as callous as it may also sound, some, in this country, may be quite ready to forgive AND forget. I’m not one of them, and Hal Steinbrenner is not like to be one either.

Aroldis Chapman is paid to throw a baseball 105 mph in the ninth inning, closing out baseball games for the Yankees. No more, no less. Like all of us, he is accountable for his actions off the job. If we screw up, we pay the price. Chapman screwed up, and he paid the price. And if he does it again, he’ll pay a higher price. A price high enough to cost him the financial security he has earned with his new contract. That is justice too.

Yankees Fans Know Better About Steinbrenner

Steinbrenner is also being criticized for implying that Chapman is popular among Yankees fans. How silly is that? What are we supposed to do, reign boos on him every time he comes into a game, blows away the opponent with three successive strikeouts, securing a Yankees win?

It must have been a very slow news day in our nation’s capital, causing the Washington Post to feature this story. The man misspoke. He does not go home every night to beat his wife up. He does not make law in this country, nor does he enforce the law. He is the owner of a baseball team.

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Give the man a break.